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Hero Overview

You know what you are... what you're made of. War is in your blood. Don't fight it. You didn't kill for your country. You killed for yourself. God's never gonna make that go away. When you're pushed, killing's as easy as breathing.
~ John Rambo.
Live for nothing, or die for something.
~ John Rambo's famous quote.
You're dealing with an expert with guns, with knives, with his bare hands. Rambo was the best!
~ Colonel Trautman's description of Rambo

John James Rambo is the main protagonist of the Rambo film series as well as the novel First Blood.

He was played by Sylvester Stallone, who was well known for playing Rocky Balboa and Barney Ross. It should be noted that Rambo was a villain in the novel, he was adapted into a hero.

Character Biography

Rambo was born in 1947 in Arizona. He lost his mother at an early age to cancer. His father was a very abusive alcoholic who constantly beat Rambo. One day his father, in a drunken rage, attempted to stab his own so with a knife and Rambo was forced to shoot his father with a bow and arrow to defend himself, nearly killing the abusive drunkard. Rambo then ran away from his father and his home altogether.

After dropping out of high school and drifting from one meager job to another, Rambo enlisted the army (although he keeps on saying he was drafted).

Rambo's military service began in January 1966. Rambo was deployed to South Vietnam in September 1966 and had his first experience in combat. Rambo survived, and he returned to America in 1967 and due to his excellent and hardened physical condition and experience in combat, he became a Green Beret, began training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina under Colonel Trautman's tutelage. At some point in his military career he also received training in flying helicopters.

But in late 1969, Rambo was re-deployed to Vietnam as a member of Studies and Observations Group (SOG) brigade. He is involved in special forces' long-range reconnaissance patrol missions commanded by Colonel Trautman. Trautman's team received the code name of Baker Team and consisted of eight men. The other members were:

  • Delmore Barry - an African American operative who quickly became Rambo's best friend.
  • Joseph "Joey" Danforth - another close friend of Rambo. In an event that would haunt Rambo for the rest of his life, Danforth died in Rambo's arms after being fatally wounded by a rigged shoeshine box while their unit was on rest and recuperation time.
  • Manuel "Loco" Ortega
  • Paul Messner
  • Delbert Krackhauer
  • Giuseppe "Greasy Cunt" Colletta
  • Ralph Jorgenson

During a particular mission in November 1971 Rambo's team came under surprise attack by North Vietnamese Army (NVA or Viet Minh). Delmore, Rambo and some other surviving members were captured by NVA near the Chinese-Vietnamese border and held at a POW camp, where many other American POWs were imprisoned and repeatedly subjected to incredibly brutal and inhumane tortures. Most of Rambo's captured team members perished during the ordeal; only Delmore and Rambo managed to escape captivity in May 1972 when there came a day security in prison camp was lax. Taking advantage of that Rambo and Delmore escaped. Astonishingly, when the pair escaped no Vietcongs were killed; it was as if they just disappeared. After being lost in the jungle for what seemed to be eternity, Rambo and Delmore were eventually rescued by US Army personnel. By his own request Rambo was immediately re-deployed afterwards.

Rambo finally received his official military discharge on September 17, 1974. It is speculated that he was discharged as a commissioned officer (judging from the crossed arrows insignia on the lapel of his Army Alpha Dress Green uniform, a clear indication of an officer, it is safe to assume that he was either a 1st Lieutenant or Captain).

First Blood

In 1982, Rambo made himself an enemy of Sheriff Will Teasle, the deputy of Hope, Washington. The war veteran got arrested for carrying a weapon, while the police don't know he is innocent. Worse still, Teasle severely mistreated Rambo and even made him looked like a villain he viewed the war veteran as. Rambo eventually cracked and escaped leading to him accidentally killing deputy Art Galt in self-defense in an ensuing battle. To compound the issue, Teasle gave Col. Sam Trautman, Rambo's mentor, a cold shoulder and adamant in his obsession to kill him.

In the final battle at police station, before he could kill Teasle, Rambo is stopped by Col. Trautman and gives in. During that time, Rambo eventually lashed out over horrors of war and awful fate of his comrades before weeps, revealing his vulnerable side. Showing remorse from his actions up until that point, he willingly surrenders himself to the police.

Rambo: First Blood Part II

After being sent to jail, he is released for an assignment in Vietnam to search for P.O.W.s. Instead of just searching, Rambo rescued a prisoner and tries to escape but Marshall Murdock betrays him and Rambo is captured. Rambo is taken before Col, Podovsky who demands that Murdock call off all rescue operations, but Rambo refuses to give in then attacks Podovsky and Yushin before escaping.

Later after Co and a number of Russians and Vietnamese are killed, Rambo rescues the prisoners then blows up Podovsky. Back at Murdock's base, Rambo warns, "You knows there's more of them out there. You know where they are. Find them, or I'll find YOU." to Murdock to rescue other P.O.W.s. Before leaving, Rambo tells his mentor, Trautman, he will live "Day by day".

Rambo III

Rambo rescues Trautman from a Soviet prison in Afghanistan.


Rambo rescues a group of Christian missionaries that have been captured by the Burmese Military. He led a squad of mercenaries to infiltrate the Burmese army base camp where the missionaries were being held. 

The mercenaries successfully rescue all the missionaries and Rambo ended up killing Lt. Aye who was a drunk Burmese soldier who attempted to rape a missionary named Sarah Miller. Rambo killed the intoxicated man by ripping his throat out with his bare hands. In the morning, the Burmese army found out that the missionaries were missing and started a massive manhunt throughout the jungles of Burma. They eventually caught up to the group and recaptured the missionaries and mercenaries sent to rescue the missionaries.

But before the firing squad can finish off the group, Rambo hijacked a jeep mounted Browning M2 .50 cal machine gun and used it to mow down the entire army in a massive gunfight. After kiling off the entire army with the help of the local Karen freedom fighters, Rambo spots Burmese Army commander Major Tint trying to run from his defeat. Rambo then caught up to him, jammed his machete into the man's stomach, sliced it open, and kicked the man down the hill causing his intestines to fall out, killing the last man of the Burmese Army, and saving the missionaries.

Rambo: Last Blood

Rambo goes up against a brutal Mexican Drug Cartel.

See also

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